Group attributes growth to fuel-efficient technology
BEIJING - German automaker Volkswagen Group reported a 39 percent year-on-year sales hike in the first three quarters this year in China, outperforming what it achieved for the full of last year.
Volkswagen brand sales rose by 33.8 percent from a year ago to 1.17 million units in the first three quarters of this year. The brand enjoys high popularity in China. [Photo / China Daily]
The group, which has been the top passenger vehicle provider in China for more than two decades, moved almost 1.48 million cars in the first nine months of this year, compared with 1.4 million units in all of 2009.
"The great success shows again that Volkswagen and its Chinese partners have tapped into market trends. Like European customers, Chinese consumers want to buy newly designed and environmentally friendly models," said Karl-Thomas Neumann, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group China.
Sales of Volkswagen brand rose by 33.8 percent from a year ago to 1.17 million units in the first three quarters of this year, the group said.
Its luxury arm Audi sold a new record of 174,900 cars in the same period, surging 60.7 percent.
Sales of the group's Czech unit Skoda jumped by 64.7 percent to 134,500 cars in the first nine months.
Meanwhile, its two ultra-luxury brands - Bentley and Lamborghini - delivered 653 and 179 vehicles to Chinese buyers, up 96.6 percent and 113 percent.
Volkswagen Group said its robust sales indicate that its strategy to introduce more fuel-efficient technologies in China is paying off.
The automaker has equipped several China-made models, such as Volkswagen Lavida, Bora and Skoda Octavia, with its latest TSI (turbo-charged stratified injection) engine and DSG (double-shift gearbox) over the past few years to cut fuel consumption and emission.
"The outstanding sales performance proves that it was the right decision to invest more in the Chinese market," said Neumann.
"Our investment of about 6 billion euros ($8.4 billion) in new plants and models from this year until the end of 2012 reflects a huge increase in capacity, and shows our support for China's green future."
Christian Klinger, a Volkswagen Group board member, told China Daily in July that the automaker planned to increase its annual production capacity in China from 2 to 3 million units within the next two to three years.
The group and its Chinese joint venture partner SAIC clinched a deal in July to build a new 300,000-unit plant in Nanjing.
In June, Volkswagen and FAW agreed to build a new 200,000-unit factory in Foshan, Guangdong province.
In the first three quarters of this year, vehicle sales in China increased by 36 percent year-on-year to 13.1 million units, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
The auto association predicted that sales for the full of this year are expected to hit 17 million units, up from 13.6 million units last year.
Other major players in China's vehicle market such as General Motors, Toyota and Honda, have also experienced sales growth this year.